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(cons) of straight A's..?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medicalmnt, Oct 1, 2014.

Which is better?

  1. 3.8+/13credits

    37 vote(s)
  2. 3.65/16credits

    3 vote(s)
  1. medicalmnt

    medicalmnt 2+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    My freshman year sucked and and ended with a GPA of 3.1
    My sophomore year I buckled down and ended with a GPA of 3.55 (cGPA 3.25)
    Took some summer classes and both a 4.0 (cGPA 3.38)

    The problem comes in now as I have too much on my plate, volunteering at hospice 1hour away from campus, rowing for my school, VP of newly founded club, and some fundraiser events here and there.

    I'm currently taking 16 courses, two biggies being biochem and a-chem. Unexpectedly I got my exam back for a class I marked initially as an "easy A" (got a 72% on my first exam and I'll need 100% from here on out to get an A).

    Theoretically I can get a ~3.8 fall-semester GPA if I were to drop the class I got a 72% in. (still have a shot at 4.0 if I go nerd-mode).
    Although this is a pretty solid GPA and an impressive upward trend in my GPA, is it worth dropping down to 13credits? (I'm taking 16 right now). My overall GPA would never be as good as it could be getting a 16-cred 4.0 but what do you suggest doing?

    credit-heavy(16) 3.6 GPA vs. credit-low(13) 3.8+ GPA

    Currently I'm standing on 69 credits with 3.38 GPA with my pre-reqs done. I plan on smashing all of my elective courses next semester at 19creds for the immediate GPA relief before I apply to MD's this summer (I'm a junior)

    *Although sticking at 16cred will show that I'm able to handle a tougher load and took a 4,000 level course that was out of my major for interest, it wouldn't increase my overall GPA as much as the 13cred route but will they look at the upward trend in my favor or is "cGPA>all"?
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  3. Conflagration

    Conflagration Avatar from MeluuArts of dA. 5+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    hSDN Alumni
    I'll just run some numbers for you. :)

    You currently have 233.22 quality points. (GPA times credit hours.)

    If you kept the class and get a 3.6, you would have around a 3.42 cGPA.
    If you drop the class and get a 3.8, you would have around a 3.45 cGPA.

    Something to consider, though- would the elective you're thinking to drop count as a W? If you kept it, would it be beneficial for your sGPA?

    Also, 19 hours is overload in most places and I'd think pretty hard before doing that to myself on purpose.

    GPA's are averages. You get to a point where you might be beefing up the sample size but you're not moving the average; because you are adding so much data, any particular data point's influence will not be as substantial as it used to be, which approaches a point of diminishing returns as you add more and more credit hours. :prof:
  4. medicalmnt

    medicalmnt 2+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    The deadline to drop is this Friday (10/3). It wouldn't go into my sGPA.
    The gameplan since Spring semester freshman year was purely to 'recover'. One way I thought I'd do that was to pound in as much credits as I could before I apply.

    I've done some clutch performances last year but idk if I still have some cookie-dough in the batter for this year. Although there is a chance of getting an A in the elective class, I highly doubt it and don't want to ruin my junior year's GPA on that hope only to get a B. (no +/-'s). I'm just banking on my upward trend at this point in terms of my GPA... I know it would never be one of those 3.7+ overalls +pity+
  5. Conflagration

    Conflagration Avatar from MeluuArts of dA. 5+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    hSDN Alumni
    Don't feel bad about it not being a 3.7 overall. Hell, I'm a junior too, and I have a 3.295 cGPA and a 3.28 sGPA. I got burned freshman fall with a fat C in Organic I, and I ate two C's in English classes. So, I totally understand being in recovery mode.

    You can do it! It's really up to you, though. I mean, you can't be driving yourself crazy before you even apply. That's the adcom's job. ;)

    Good luck.
  6. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    I've never taken more than 16 credits in one semester, and I ended up with a 3.7+ GPA. Granted, I also went to a really tough school and got a really high score on the MCAT. However, I really think it's better for you to drop that bad class. In the long run, 13 credits vs. 16 isn't going to make a huge difference. Hell, I took only 13 really easy credits my 2nd semester senior year before I applied, and no interviewer has ever commented on that.
  7. Hospitalized

    Hospitalized 2+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Higher GPA will always trump more credits, providing you are going full-time still. My advice is do whatever you can handle while still maintaining a 3.8+ from here on out, given you have a 3.3 right now. A 3.6 is competitive with a good enough MCAT. Below 3.5 is tough for traditional students, especially since it looks like you have minimal medical volunteering/experience. However, there are always exceptions.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
    DirkN likes this.

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